What this guy is about to do makes my Atlantic row look like a pootle across a pond –¬†Adrian Flanagan is going to sail around the world, via the Poles, alone and non-stop. It’s never been done before, and nobody knows if it’s possible. There’s only one way to find out – and that is for Adrian to try it. He’s dreamed for 30 years of doing this – it seems to be what he was born to do, so how can he possibly fail?

I was lucky enough to have a drink with him this evening. He’d contacted me via my website, and I’d read his website, so I knew enough about him to be quite intimidated about meeting him. I thought he’d be dauntingly intrepid, focused, a breed apart.

When the doorbell rang I pasted a confident smile on my face and braced myself. There was no need. He was disarmingly charming and normal, with the same hopes, fears and concerns that most people have. He just happens to be about to push back the boundaries of human endeavour, but that doesn’t exclude wanting to be a good parent, worrying about money, or being concerned about food, weight and fitness.

I really enjoyed our conversation, and had to keep reminding myself that this man was about to set off into the most hostile environments in the world – a fact of which he is keenly aware.

Wish him luck in his adventure – it will truly be a magnificent achievement, and regardless of whether or not he succeeds, I will be proud to say that I met the man who had this dream and had the courage to go for it.

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